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July 15, 2011

Andre Walker Talks Down Kinky Hair- A Response

by Tracey Wallace for NaturallyCurly.com

In an interview with Elle magazine, Andre Walker, stylist to Ms. Oprah Winfrey herself for more than two decades, dropped this bomb: “I always recommend embracing your natural texture. Kinky hair can have limited styling options; that’s the only hair type I suggest altering with professional relaxing.”

And with that, Mr. Walker just proved that logic does trump subconscious, because if Oprah’s hair guy is against kinked tresses, do we even want to know who else is?

It’s hard enough if you’re transitioning to natural hair without adding in the bias and opinions of your friends, family—or even your stylist.

As curly girls, all of us have ventured in to at-home product recipes and remedies now and again, but somewhere inside each of us there is that small voice (probably the remnants of some commercial that made an annoying impression on our subconscious) encouraging us that stylists know all and can help our limp, frizzy, dried out, over-styled, under-cared-for tresses.

For the unlucky ones in the group, albeit the majority, each salon trip ends in a myriad of wet cuts, blow-dried hair and fancy talk about how weird it is that your locks frizz up at the sight of heat, even with this super-special product that they are now pressuring you to buy.

For many of us, there is a realization that comes from being a curly girl in a straight-haired salon—I stand up for my hair, or no one does.

And if you have been one of the lucky ones, reluctant yet to see stylists for what they might be (glorified groomers) or you have been even luckier and found a stylist who sees you for who you are, it may be time for a reality check.

With professional, celebrity stylists like Andre Walker believing that kinky tresses are best treated with a straightening agent, it is no wonder that transitioning to natural hair is a scary journey to trek. Stylists aren’t even in it with us!

One commenter points out, “Sad, this is why so many women feel they can’t go natural, when “professional hair stylists” shame their natural hair texture and suggest relaxers.”

Of course, we aren’t the only ones getting frazzled over his statement. One Elle reader states:

“Oh Andre. You can do better than that. Natural hair is so versatile. The styles we can choose from are diverse and stylish. Saying that kinky hair is the only hair that should have chemicals poured on it is pretty lame. I suspect the comment has more to do with your personal aesthetics or lack of skills to work with any kind of Afro hair.”

Fortunately, Andre Walker did offer a rebuttal to his original statement:

“It is a fact that kinky hair (my Type 4 definition) is extremely fragile and breaks easily. Even when you are very careful, something as simple as combing can break this texture. It is very difficult to achieve a longer length when the hair breaks, even with simple combing. That being said, there is the style option of wearing braids, dreads, or twists, which allows the hair to grow longer because it is combed less often. Another style choice is to simply wear a shorter cut, which is very attractive on some women but just not right for others.

So when I say to embrace your natural texture, but consider relaxing kinky hair, am I contradicting myself? I don’t think so! You see, even relaxed hair can still be worn naturally. If you want a natural look, but find that your kinky hair is difficult to manage, breaks too easily, lacks shine and luster, and limits your preferred styling options, I say feel free to consider a mild chemical relaxer, sometimes called a texturizer, that eases your hair to a more manageable texture and allows you to Make Peace With Your Hair.”

Commenters across the web, however, just aren’t taking kindly to Andre Walker’s words—rebutted or not—because, overall, Walker is just plain wrong.

Perhaps not all Type 4 women opt for transitioning to natural hair, but for all of us who choose natural and healthy over straightened and potentially damaged, let it be known that offense has been taken and a note has been made—never let a stylist’s opinion deter your transitioning trek.

75 Chime in!:

fabfreshandfly said...

Andre knows he was wrong for that, and the fact that he issued a pseudo apology is proof of that. This is exactly what is wrong with the whole 'hair typing' system. By his definition, if any of my fellow type 4 sisters want any sort of 'acceptable' style, we must relax our hair. I say that him, and other stylists like him are the ones who need to relax. Us curly girls have as much if not more versatility then those without a curl pattern, and for him to think that is not the case proves how antiquated his thinking is.

MelMelBee said...

For a professional, Mr. Walker sounds like a complete idiot! I say we ban the use of his typing system (which IMO, causes unnecessary division and is reminiscent of the paper bag test). Let's not refer to our hair by type, which does nothing to help with product selection or styling, and show him and other "so called professionals" that we are not OK with the sentiment that kinky hair is less than!

Anonymous said...

Andre is just blaming his lack of hair knowledge on the hair type. All of us who constantly engage ourselves in the natural hair community know that type four hair can grow long and healthy if you know how to care for it...andre just doesn't know. What's new? Most people don't just because he is a world renowned stylist doesn't mean he is exempt from ignorance.

Anonymous said...

I can't speak for everyone else but my hair and I "made peace" when I STOPPED relaxing!! This is foolishness!!

Moderne Meid said...

If our hair is so fragile (which it actually is), why would he suggest us to chemically alter it? It's better left in its natural state! He's contradictory... seriously.

Anonymous said...

Instead of suggesting relaxing as a way of managing the hair, he should have suggested using hair products that maintain a correct moisture and protein balance. Relaxing the hair is not a solution because hair that is not properly balanced re moisture and protein, will continue to break and not retain length.

DvaAuNaturel said...

What exactly is he trying to say. Embrace your natural texture but relax it? If your hair breaks, he suggests a relaxer. What a major contradiction! Andre Walker needs to get with the times and check out some of the ladies all over the internet on their blogs and YouTube who have grown their hair long (Naptural85, Kimmaytube, BrownBabyDol just to name a few) without a relaxer and who know what it takes to combat the kinky hair management issues he thinks a relaxer can address.

Anonymous said...

This is why site's like Nikki's is so important for the Natural community! Let's make sure we do every thing we can to continue to support Nikki and other supporters like her!

Anonymous said...

That's what makes me so fearful of even going to a professional stylists to get my hair trimmed for fear of the exact same mentality. When I had a relaxer it seemed as if the stylists always wanted to trim and it ended up being more of a cut. I can only imagine what they would do or think of my natural hair.

Anonymous said...

So what Mr. Andre is really saying is "Embrace your natural texture...but only if it's anything but Type 4"! He's stating that every other type of hair is exceptable, easier to deal with, and is better looking in it's natural state except for type 4 becuase of X Y and Z (fill in the blanks). This sounds like a PERSONAL opinion to me!

This is why they came up with products to better deal with this type of hair! Stupido!!! But wait he should already know that...oh but wait he does...this means that he is just being discriminatory!!! What an Ass! I guess JackAsses are allowed to have an opinion too!

Alluringbeauty said...

In regards to his rebuttal , he just put his foot right back in his mouth. Stems from lack of knowledge and perhaps skills in handling a hair texture as such.. What's the saying ?? - " If you knew better, you'd do better ". Uhh yea, try again Mr.Walker.

Anonymous said...

His rebuttal sounded off key too! Although he is Oprah's hair stylist for some reason I have never placed a lot of care on what Andre thinks when it comes to hair. Anyway there r some type 4s (Kimmay Tube, Naptural 85, Chicoro, etc.) out there that can show Andre a thing or two. And shortly I will be on that list. I am so happy I figured out how to keep my lovely 4a tresses moist. And now my hair is growing like weeds. Sorry to get off topic, just happy I discovered what works for my 4a hair!

Anonymous said...

Hey anon 12:38 I'm also a fellow 4a. Please do share your moisture "secret" inquiring 4's want to know. Tehehe :)

Anonymous said...

Shocked and appalled! Really?! Well, one thing is very clear, the ladies here on CN are significantly more knowledgeable than Mr. Walker, and his little rant of a rebuttal has made me all the happier to be part of this community and not have to rely on "professionals" like him.

MelMelBee said...

He must be getting some funds from major relaxer corporations...because to say "even relaxed hair can still be worn naturally" is the stupidest comment that I've EVER heard in my life. Oprah should invest in a new stylist because this man is obviously not the sharpest knife in the drawer!

I'm really mad about this...if you can't tell!

Anonymous said...

No need to buy his hair products.

How can he say: "You see, even relaxed hair can still be worn naturally" "I say feel free to consider a mild chemical relaxer,"

How is that still wearing your hair natural?

Dee said...

..Wow! And this is why I have went into Cosmetology, to stand up for our hair. I love EVERY texture and can find the beauty in all natural hair. There needs to be more stylists that actually love hair for what it is. It's all about education and it seems that Andre has failed to totally educate himself. In School my teachers are constantly amazed at what can be done with our kinks and curls. I am there to make a change and I am proud to be kinky and curly! Shame on HIM for not educating himself and keeping an open mind.

MelMelBee said...

Here's his complete response to his original comments in Elle that is posted on his website!

http://andresays.andrewalkerhair.com/

momo7 said...

As for me, I REALLY don't give two hot turds about what he says! Next...

Anonymous said...

Andre sounds as stupid as they come!!! He seems to have no hair knowledge.

Anonymous said...

First of all, I don't give a rat's patootie about others who share Andre's opinion.

Andre is a renowned and respected stylist, but he is not the arbiter of hair. I don't believe he ever purported to be one.

He's just a man who prefers what he prefers; just like our husbands, boyfriends, or passersby on the street.

That said - I will continue to embrace the 4b/c descriptor because it defines my hair's needs.

4b/c does not stigmatize me. Prejudice does.

4b/c does not place me next to a paper bag. Self hatred does.

4b/c is the password that lets me find support and assistance from like travelers on my journey to beautiful healthy hair.

My 4b/c napps do not have to be shiny and straight for me to be sexy.

My 4b/c napps do not have to hang down my back to get me noticed.

All I need is healthy, clean and well groomed hair, and it's all good.

~Thetruthisoutthere

Tabitha said...

I am at a loss for words regarding his views on kinky hair. I do not know what to say other than I am extremely disappointed and he has loss complete credibility in book. Seriously, how can you have natural hair, if your hair has been chemically altered (seriously)? There is nothing natural about that.

Anonymous said...

So are we to presume from his comments that Oprah's hair is not natural as she claimed it to be since her own stylist cannot deal with kinky hair.

Anonymous said...

I can't see being angry over Andre's opinion. I don't agree with it, but there are so many other things to get heated about. So, he is not into kinky hair. Nothing new there. Lol
IT IS ONLY HAIR!!

Anonymous said...

Oprah's hair is relaxed. I think by natural she meant it's not a weave, but she's def sporting a headful or lye from Andre.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:01 that is your opinion and you are entitled to it. However, don't detract from other women's repsonses and passion regarding this subject. To you, "IT IS ONLY HAIR' but to others it is an expression of US. So when you have an issue with my 4a/b/c hair you have an issue with me.

I find his dialect to be that of a confused and truly misguided person; it belies his years of experience as a 'respected' stylist. I agree with the post that stated what would be the reason behind relaxing this hair type when all relaxers have been known to do is make the hair weaker? SMH.

Anonymous said...

im 4, n my hair dont break when i comb it. n as long as i drink my green tea every day, it dont have a problem growing long. whats wrong with this fool. this is why i comb my own hair, stylists can kiss my %^&. this is why i dont type my hair beyond saying its a four. to much drama. my hair is COURSE end of story. its the only thing that suits my face. n its easy to manage. WATER + KCCC= coils,......... 7 min. why is that hard ??? some one deprogram him NOW!! he is such a loser

Anonymous said...

I always thought Oprah was natural, but now with this statement from Andre I bet he did what those dominican hair dressers do and mix relaxer into Oprah's conditioner. Pretty sneaky Andre. The day I stopped relaxing is the day I made PEACE with my hair. Andre is just too old and lazy to learn how to take care of natural hair.

Anonymous said...

This was just offensive...every other natural texture of hair is alright but kinky hair needs to be relaxed or chemically treated..really Andre...that's the best you can come up with...this is why so many of us with type 4 hair struggle with accepting it..I love my type 4 hair and yeah I had a problem with it growing because it will break but now that I know how to take care of it i don't have those problems anymore..he just doesn't want to do the work that it takes to care for someone's type 4 hair whatever it may require..i hate ppl with this kind of mindset..this is why i'm so hesitant to go to stylist now because i don't trust them

Anonymous said...

Has Andre retired with Oprah? if not, please exit stage left.

Anonymous said...

Really though?

I'm even more disappointed he's been touching Oprah's head for so long and has probably warped her sense when it comes to her hair as well.

I can't. Disgusting.

Anonymous said...

This guy is repulsive. That was not an apology. Why doesn't he admit he knows nothing about black hair and has failed to educate himself on it because he simply doesn't like it.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh!!! He is crazy! I don't agree with him about it. I don't need damn relax my hair. I keep my natural until I die. God gave me a beauty and health period. Andre needs to go back to school again. NEXT!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

His rebuttal made absolutely no sense. Just admit that you aren't as knowledgeable about natural hair and are doing the best to truly understand it.

Anonymous said...

Many african americans through no fault of their own, necessarily, have been GENERATIONALLY and CULTURALLY programmed to believe our kinky hair is unmanageable and dare I say, ugly. Andre clearly is in that group. WE have to break that thought cycle by deprogramming ourselves, our parents, our relatives, our friends, etc. HOW? By proudly wearing and loving our kinks without apology. If we like it they will love it and if not....whatever!

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:12, voicing one's opinion does not "detract from other women's responses and passion rerading the subject" unless one allows it to.

Like anything else in life, everyone is entitled to like/dislike what they want, find attractive/unattractive what they want.

My intent was not to dismiss anyone's opinion by stating MY OWN.
For example, there are people, who do not like the fact that I am black, but I could care less. My being up in arms about it, is not going to make them accept me- nor would I seek acceptance from them.

I just hate to see people getting upset about something they have no control over and taking it so personally.
Obiously, you seemed to feel that I stepped on your toes. Not so. Have a great day.

Anonymous said...

I think mr walker needs to learn how to do kinky hair.I think when it comes to kinky hair he doesnt know what to do except relax it, because for a long time that is what we did, but now its a new day and there are plenty of ways to wear our hair without a relaxer!!!

Anonymous said...

Oprah gets her hair relaxed. I watch behind the scene on OWN and on one episode Andre had to touch up the edges of her hair for the Academy/Oscar Awards.

Anonymous said...

If a tree falls in the forrest and no one hears it does it make a sound?

The fat tree in this case is Mr. Walker, and we, my beautiful Kinky/Kurly/Koily Sistas are as far away from THAT forrest as can be.

But what we do hear are the sounds we heard yesterday, the day before that, and the days and weeks and months before that! Each other making beautiful music about our life's journey and discovery...

Don't you hear that? Beaux Cheveux de Noir!

Honeysmoke said...

He is in denial on several fronts. Ignore him, his product line, and his silly thoughts.

MelMelBee said...

@Anon 5:00. Your personal opinion is accepted just as everyone else's. I think the point that I am making as well as the other Anon person is that this is a personal issue. Regardless of if you argee or disagree you are stating your personal opinion, which makes it personal.

Because of who Mr. Walker is, and because of who he is connected to, he has slot of control. He is the person who defined the entire typing system to begin with. Therefore, his theory has become something that is second nature to many curly girls. And I think there is a larger issue...

If we can come together as a community and be pro curls, why can't we take all of that power and make a statement to him and to the rest of the world that we are not the "leftovers" and let Mr. Walker, Oprah and everyone else know that we are not powerless as you have indicated, and that we have alot of control that affects dollars and cents.

If everyone took the approach that "hair is only hair" and thought that it's only about our own personal head of hair, CN, Kimmaytube, MahoganyKnots, Naptural85, etc. would have NO audience. Our identity, our self-esteem and so many other things that make us the unique men and women of African Diaspora, including our hair are important.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but doesn't Oprah have natural hair? I could have sworn that on one of her behind the scenes she was shown on the treadmill with her natural hair in a ponytail. If this is true, Oprah is proof that kinky hair can be versatile. Even aside from his recent comments, I remember reading his book and just not agreeing with him on much. He says that hair should be blow-dried when sopping wet and that its fine to wash and blow dry kinky hair everyday.

Anonymous said...

What little respect I had for him as a professional just disappeared. He clearly has not been exposed to Chicoro, Cathy House, Curly Nikki, natural blogs and YT. How sad to be floating on an ignorant cloud.

Andre, read my words: my hair and scalp has been the healthiest since I stopped relaxing two years ago.

And please do some reserach on companies that cater to natural clientele. You could learn a thing or two!

Anonymous said...

I remembered just recently I read this article recently at the gyno. I was furious, but quite frankly I don't give a damn now because even in his book he said the same thing. I love my hair and it WILL grow despite what he says.

Anonymous said...

Wow Andre. No help for the ignorant! I'm type 4a- by ur asinine typing system I might add, and I've grown my hair from 0.5" to past bra strap length in 3 years! 100% African/Nigerian just in case Mr. Smarty wants to make that an exception. Just admit that you have no idea how to work with natural hair, even though you should since I believe Oprah is natural.

Anyhoo, for the ladies inquiring about moisture, try Aloe vera gel- the whole leaf version from Fruit of The Earth, although I'm sure the inner fillet is just as good. This product has done wonders in keeping my hair moisturized this summer. I just slap it on and work it into my hair, seal with my shea butter/coconut oil mix, twist it up (big twists) and go about my business ;o)

Anonymous said...

I'm with Anon 5:00, 2:01
I think we spend far too much time trying to make others accept, love, admire and feel attracted to us. We often wear our feelings on our sleeve. I don't agree with Andre and we ARE powerless over how he feels about our hair, just like we are powerless over how many people may feel about other things about who we are and how we chose to live.

My hair is important to me ONLY in that it reflects MY sense of style and how I decide to care for and groom myself. If someone doesn't like it (even if it is someone like Andre Walker) or anything else about me, for that matter, I refuse to spend my time being upset about it and throwing shade at those who don't agree with me.

I view sites like this one as a RESOURCE ( a wonderful one). Props to Nikki!

Thembi said...

Embrace your natural texture by turning it into something else through a texturizer? Ohhh. Oh, Ok Andre. That sounds legit :-/

Maria said...

THAT was his apology? He needs to come to NaturallyCurly, CurlyNikki and LHCF to see 3C-4b ladies with beautiful, long healthy hair. He's got a lot of nerve! Had I known this THIS guy is the one who created the whole typing system I wouldn't have even paid any attention to that whole mess. SMDH

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @8:53PM - I completely understand what you're saying, but to see a BLACK man say this.. SMDH. I can understand a white woman or man because they don't know how to deal with our hair, but a black man? To me that's just insulting and a mess.

Anonymous said...

Im a kinky , coily girl(this type 4 classification) and loving it he can say what he wants and try to cover it up (poorly I might add). Just say it he likes to do straight and relaxed hair. his comments are one reason I haven't gone to a salon yet to get my hair cut or trimmed. But I have gone to a barber and they love the fro and do a good job at trimming it. So keep your relaxer and comments Mr Man us type 4s will be just fine.

TX Made said...

He should NEVER suggest a relaxer to any of his clients. I haven't relaxed my hair since Jan 2011 and my scalp don't produce any flakes like before, my hair look fuller naturally with no hair fillers, the back stopped breaking off and is now growing and I can go swimming LOL (yall know what I mean)... He need to learn how to manage natural hair quick if he wants to continue to do people hair.

Anonymous said...

Oprah:natural hair::star jones:natural weightloss

Here's my bone to pick. Why perpetuate a lie? If Oprah is indeed texlaxed ,who cares, Wanda Sykes admits to using one. Andre epitomizes the knowledge and skill vacuum that exists among stylists as it relates to hair care.

Stylists, like other professionals, should present their clients with the full range of options and talk intelligently about the benefits and drawbacks of each. To proscribe one styling option based on a hair "type" shows his ignorance and inexperience with kinky hair and does a disservice to his clients.

Anonymous said...

Look...expecting Andre Walker to think any differently than he does is expecting too much. He's from the "anti-nappy" school of thought and that is okay! He's not saying anything different than what plenty of black hair stylists say and think. Many of US (myself included) used to think the same way. He's just not THERE yet and he quite likely never will be. Oprah's hair and his book are each a reflection of his way of thinking. He didn't become Oprah's stylist just because he loved doing hair, he became her stylist because he saw her hair as something that he could "fix." We (naturals) are in a different place. Often, people like him need to be shown evidence that their way of thinking is flawed.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 6:54 pm No - Oprah's hair is not natural, Oprah's hair is relaxed, but Andre has probably told her, her hair is relaxed : ) Oprah hair is straightened with lye well at least her edges are straightened with lye and this is not what I heard this is what I saw with my own eyes. Anywho from what I have read I certainly would not want Andre doing anything to my tender 4a tresses.

Anonymous said...

So its ok to rock an S curl instead of my own curls..whatever Andre.

KeetaRay said...

Sigh...

I don't even care what he thinks or anyone else. I love my Type 4 hair and I have MANY styling options.

#TheEnd

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but his rebuttal just proves that he is full of shit

Anonymous said...

this article is right on time for me as it was re-confirmed during a recent hair salon visit that professional stylists are not the expert for my hair. I transitioned successfully for almost 2 years and got my remaining relaxed hair trimmed off and my new natural hair treated last summer at the same salon. I went natural for many reasons but the one main reason was to have TOTAL CONTROL of my own hair. The stylist who I returned to this year to re-treat my hair showed me he didn't know jack about natural hair. I have used henna successfully and I asked him about it and he said he didn't trust it and how it isn't good to be kept on the hair too long. I just shook my head. He couldn't answer any of my questions and at the end of my visit I was highly pissed b/c he put some crap in my hair that left it hair and flaky. When i do my hair my hair is soft and shiny. I have learned time and time again that I AM THE EXPERT ON MY HAIR and to stop trusting stylists completely or at all. for many years when i was relaxed i trusted stylists to use a high temp. heated appliance on my just relaxed hair (which is weaker already due to the chemical treatment)after spritzing an alcohol-laden product. I knew something wasn't right about it but I trusted the professionals.

i say this all to say that I am not surprised really that Andre Walker is this ignorant. I also thought Oprah was natural but his statements strongly suggest otherwise. We have to continue to support each other. God doesn't make mistakes and He didn't when he BLESSED us with the hair he gave us. We are coming up and will continue to rise despite the many Andre's in society. He may really eat his words in the next 10 years. I also will stop using his typing system. It is divisive indeed.

for those out there who are transitioning, you can do it. don't let family, friends, or anyone else tell you can't. I did it and I had no support from my family at all but i had the support of natural sistahs i never met in real life on line.

Anonymous said...

why don't we all take a moment to tell Oprah our thoughts on this Andre fraud? Since she made him who he is, I'm sure she'd like to hear what a fool she's backing. Moreover, this is a larger issue that speaks to the billions of black women WORLDWIDE. Contrary to some commenters above I do believe in power in numbers.
www.oprah.com

CocoDreamee said...

I should not be surprised that ignorance abounds in every circle, including the "professionals" but sometimes I am still so taken aback when it rears it ugly head. I didn't know the perm that burned my scalp and broke my hair could be the source of such luster, shine, and length retention. NOT!! Such a poor cover up for his lack of skills and knowledge about such a diverse texture I don't need chemicals to "make peace with". Where do these people come from?! I mean, really! SMDH

BlackAngelPlayah said...

Really? That was a the appology? THAT?! Come on, Andre, Damn.. Anyway, I am not really a fan of anyone who thinks this way and there are a LOT of people who think that way. And the fact that Oprah TRUSTS this person kinda makes me wonder about her.. But I can't really say too much. People from that 'era' tend to be like minded about things that are too "negro". I hate to put it likea that and I might even get some side eyes for putting it like that, but in my experiences with the older crowd, (Not ALL older folks. And some younger ones have the same complex. This is just a general, common attitude and right now I'm on the ones Oprah's and Andre's age. OK? Ok...)they do tend to frown on hair "worse" than 3c.. SOME "worse" than 3b!!! It really is sad that people STILL think like this. A good example of younger, I assume younger people made it, is my Frizz Forcast App.. For all hair types up to 3c, it classifies them as "curls".. But you get to the 4's.. It's all "kinks"... Not coils.. Just "kinks".. I'm actually thinking of deleting the App for that purpose. It kind of rubs me the wrong way. I'm sure the folks on the Naturally Curly side of this site thinks that's how we see our hair, not as "curls" but as "kinks", but it's just kinda sad that our curls are not considered "curls"..

Things are just bad all around, and we need to change our ways of thinking. And people like Andre Walker is just making it worse and worse.

Jen

Anonymous said...

@ anon 4:32 I'm sure Oprah knows "fool she's backing." That's a good idea to inform her though in case she needs to be reminded. And anon 5:16 preach on. I didn't know about the app.

Anonymous said...

Oprah gets relaxers. She told Chris Rock that on her show when he was there to promote Good Hair.

Anonymous said...

He is the same guy who came up with he Hair Typing System.

girlgriot said...

I guess I'm not surprised to hear Andre's comments ... but I am, too. Is he really so foolish that he can't hear the contradiction of "embrace your natural texture" and "relax that kinky mess"? Ridiculous. And he just makes it worse with his faux apology that still manages to insult.

I'm so over this. I was up on 125th Street in Harlem today, rocking a curly fro. I'm used to having the women from the braiding salons ask me if I want my hair done. Today was the first time someone had the nerve to tell me I needed to have my hair braided. "You need it," she said when I declined her offer. "You don't want to walk around looking like that." Oh no? Maybe she'd get the message if I carried a big sign that pointed to my hair and said, "This is on purpose."

Maybe Andre needs to see the sign, too.

Anonymous said...

I am getting so sick of hearing that natural hair has limited styles and doesn't retain length. I have type 4 hair and I can wear my hair 3 different lengths and a ton of different styles! Stretched, wash n go, twists, twist out, curly fro, straight, the list goes on! My hair is also APL and I did not need any chemicals or dreadlocks to get it to grow! I do NOT experience breakage because I detangle my hair properly!

If you understand your hair instead of throwing chemicals in it, it will be long and healthy!

This "professional" needs to stop spreading ignorance!!

~Flower Head~ said...

I understand his point. Most of us KINKY haired natural do have to alter our natural textured whether its permanently or hand manipulation. Most of us MUST have our hair stretched with twist outs, braid outs,banding etc!

I wrote about that on my blog:
http://myhairmyrules.blogspot.com/2011/06/synthetic-vs-natural-part-2-of-3.html

However, he speaks of natural hair very "matter of a fact" and condescending. I'm glad black people are making others accountable for the loose lips on kinky curly hair because its been the butt of all jokes for too long!

Anonymous said...

Fat f**k! Maybe he is angry over his sexuality?

Anonymous said...

I don't need Andre to confirm my hair's beauty. We'd be better off to just shake-him-off! :)

Anon July 15 2:13 Guurl, what chu say??? I never, ever, heard that. I've been thinking of going to a Dominican salon when I want to get a straight style. I may have to rethink that. But wait, how could they do that when relaxers are so expensive and their over all prices are so reasonable?

Anonymous said...

I'm disappointed in this. I have been natural for fourteen years and I went natural because a change of my faith in God (true holiness). I did nor understand the importance at first, however today I embrace who God had made me. I don't think you can be natural and apply man made chemicals to yOur hair

Anonymous said...

I always felt that his hair system was coming from a place of disdain/misunderstanding/uneducated place when it came to the type 4. He just lumped all kinkier types without even trying to understand the many, many variations of kinky. I've never liked the fact that type 4 was at the bottom. I think he is a product of his time...dated and biased

Tonya JoHarris said...

SAD

Anonymous said...

This guy is an idiot. the relaxer companies paid him to say that snide ignorant remark about kinky hair.
well ladies and gents... THE RELAXERS COMPANIES WILL SOON BE GOING OUT OF BUSINESS BECAUSE THE NATURALNESS AWAKENING IS BECOMING LARGER AND LARGER BY THE HOUR.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why people are disliking what he is saying but yet they are following his "hair rating" system. I don't know a 4b from a 3c from a 6z!! We have a sense of peace about our hair, but yet rate the straight hair as "1a" and extra kinky hair(more African hair) as all the way on the bottom as the infamous "4d" and beyond. We should trash Walker's brown paper bag hair rating system and stop classifying our hair. Natural homemade products work on all hair. Just be natural.

Lindy said...

Andre Walker has a right to his opinion. The women of today act as though wearing natural hair is something new, in the 60s and 70s we wore our hair natural and proudly so. We did not worry about who was saying or doing it either. You women need to get over feeling inferior because of your hair type and realize that you make who you are not the strands on your head.

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